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Published September 05, 2013, 03:33 PM

American Crystal Sugar may face fines after OSHA inspection

The American Crystal Sugar Plant in East Grand Forks could be facing over 60,000 dollars in fines following several Minnesota OSHA inspections. After three workers at the American Crystal Sugar plant were severely burned earlier this year, a combination of routine and accident related inspections by Minnesota OSHA have found 30 alleged violations of safety regulations.

By: Michael Yoshida, WDAZ

The American Crystal Sugar Plant in East Grand Forks could be facing over 60,000 dollars in fines following several Minnesota OSHA inspections. After three workers at the American Crystal Sugar plant were severely burned earlier this year, a combination of routine and accident related inspections by Minnesota OSHA have found 30 alleged violations of safety regulations.

26 of the alleged violations were found during a routine and planned inspection on April 9th. This type of inspection examines the entire workplace and occurs once every two to three years. One of the alleged violations included safe management of hazardous chemicals and hazardous waste operations and emergency response. Two other inspections were the result of workplace accidents and injuries.

On January 29th a worker was burned by coming into contact with a hot liquid, and on March 30th two workers fell into an uncovered sump pump pit and received burns from liquids at temperatures between 176 and 185 degrees fahrenheit. Following the incident Crystal Sugar paid a 7,000 dollar fine and installed guard rails and a cover and lock for the pit.

"In this case the employer was cited for not having proper wall guards for over the wall openings and holes. The employer addressed the hazards, fixed the hazards and paid the penalty," said OSHA spokesman James Honerman.

Brian Ingulsrud, VP of Administration at Crystal says "our first priority is to have no accidents, and if OSHA can provide advice on how to make changes to prevent future accidents then we are certainly going to follow that advice."

The inspection regarding the January burning incident and the routine inspections of the Crystal Sugar Plant remain open cases as a result of Crystal Sugar contesting several of the citations.

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